horizontal banner with Preserve America logo and images of a historic downtown, farm, courthouse, and mountain

Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Preserve America Community:
Mount Vernon, Texas

Mount Vernon (population 2,286), the county seat of Franklin County, was first settled in the mid-1840s and served as the major supply and shipping center for the county's farmers for much of its history.

Franklin County Courthouse Predating Anglo settlement of the area, two important Indian trade routes—the Choctaw Trail and the Cherokee Trace—crossed the county. The Bankhead Highway, the first transcontinental highway across America, followed the route of the Choctaw Trail in Franklin County and is Mt. Vernon's Main Street.

The city recently used proceeds from its state hotel/motel occupancy tax to mark these and other historic transportation routes. It also recently opened a new visitor center in the 1868 home of Henry Clay Thruston, famous as the tallest soldier in the Confederate army, at 7 feet, 7 inches. The Thruston House is one of five historical museums in the community.

Throughout Mt. Vernon and Franklin County, over 60 pre-World War I homes are marked with historic markers that are keyed to a driving tour. The city promotes heritage tourism through its participation in the Texas Forest Trail heritage tourism initiative of the Texas Historical Commission.

For more information

City of Mount Vernon: www.mvcntx.org/CofMV

Franklin County Historical Association: www.mt-vernon.com/~chbrewer/welcome.htm

Updated August 19, 2009

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